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Building Math Skills Through Abstract Thinking

All children are not the same. While some may find math interesting, others may have difficulty in learning the subject. For them, learning math may not be as simple as it sounds because their thinking process is different and they move up at a different level.

Kids do not know how the number system works or what do values and characteristics mean in math. Then some kids have difficulty in learning maths due to some medical conditions. If they have learning problems due to some medical condition, teaching them can prove to be extremely tricky.

So, can how you teach your children math if they are weak at it? Well, the answer is through abstract thinking. Now you can teach your children to learn math through the help of abstract thinking as well.

Want to know how? Continue reading then.

  1. Use Three-Dimensional Objects

Does your child use manipulatives to pick up on classes? If yes, then you can take the assistance of this to develop the abstract thinking skills of your child. It will help them a lot in computing mathematical problems in the future. For example, you can use sticks and buttons to help your children learn mathematical skills. It will be easier for children to pick and move these sticks and buttons. As a result, they will be able to practice mathematical skills without having to learn and memorize them.

  1. Use Numbers Everywhere

Young children do not have an exact sense of numeration nor do they understand numbers are an important attribute of collection. This is why it is your job as parents to teach them the importance of numbers in mathematics. So, are you wondering how should you teach the importance of numbers to children? Well, the answer is extremely simple. All that you need to do is use numbers everywhere. When you will use numbers everywhere in the daily routine of your children, they will not only get a sense of numeration but will also understand that numbers are an important attribute of collection.

You may also be keen on reading this: A Singaporean parent's guide to buying maths assessment books.

  1. Help Children In Developing The Counting Rules

If you want to teach math to your children, you need them to develop the counting rules as counting is the most crucial part of mathematics. It will not be wrong to say that counting is the basics of math. So, the children must learn counting rules.

Want to know how you can develop the counting skills of your children? Well, the answer is extremely simple. You can teach and develop counting rules in the children with the help of objects such as 3D or 2D objects. It will not only keep up the interest of the children but they will learn fast as well. There are also many good math classes for kids where professional teachers are on hand to develop your child's counting skills.

  1. Let Them Play With Routes And Maps

Did you know that children can learn about routes and maps from a very young age? Yes’s that’s right. Even though some children may not be interested in math they may take interest in learning about routes and maps. So, if you want to develop math skills in your children, you should let them play with routes and maps. Let them create landmark models using toys. As they grow older, you should encourage them to draw simple maps as well. This will develop their math skills for sure.

  1. Use All Types Of Manipulatives

Abstract thinking is linked to concrete experiences. So, if you want to develop the math skills of your children, you must use all types of manipulatives. It will not only help them learn fast, but they will retain what they learned for ages. So, if you want your children to learn math quickly, you can use manipulatives such as pattern blocks, unit blocks, shape blocks, etc. Your children will take great interest in these manipulatives. As a result, they will learn quickly as well.

  1. Choose Manipulatives Wisely

Although manipulatives are great to teach and improve the math skills of your children, they should not limit your child’s thinking capacity. Many manipulatives can limit the way your children think. So, you must think wisely before you choose manipulatives for your children. The purpose of the manipulatives should be to build your children’s knowledge and let them find out the solution to their own problems. For this purpose, connecting cubes are a great example of manipulatives that you can choose for your children because they lead to greater abstraction as compared to others.

  1. Use Manipulatives Carefully

There are a lot of ways in which the children can use manipulatives. You need to teach and encourage them to use manipulatives wisely and carefully. You should also teach them different ways in which manipulatives can be used. For example, blocks can be used for building geometric forms, counting, patterning, etc. When they will learn different purposes of these manipulatives, they will learn math faster too. So, if you want your children to learn math quicker, you need to teach them different ways in which manipulatives can be used.

  1. Teach Them Different Uses Of Manipulatives

You should not only teach children about manipulatives but also tell them about different uses of them. You should encourage your children to solve problems through the use of manipulatives. Not only this, but you should also encourage them to reflect and justify the problem that they solved with the help of manipulatives. A lot of parents do not know the importance of it. But, this is an important step in developing your children’s math skills. Apart from this, it will also help them in abstracting ideas that manipulatives help them develop.

  1. Sort And Classify Everything

If you want your children to learn math quickly, you should sort and classify everything in front of them. You should sort and classify everything in as many ways as the children can imagine. Not only this, but you should also encourage them to do the same. As a result, they will learn to find more than one solution to everything. It will not only them in developing their math skill but will make them creative as well.

  1. Use Two Dimensional Objects

In addition to using three-dimensional objects, you can use two-dimensional objects as well. You can move to two-dimensional objects when your child has learned to pick the relative value of the object. But, you need to be a bit patient with your kids in the beginning. They will not be able to grasp the concept quickly because they will have a 3D object to play with. But, teaching them math through two-dimensional objects will help them doing computation in their heads to get the desired result. Thus, it is a great mental exercise as well.

  1. Shift The Focus On Visualizing Objects

Once your child has grasped the basic concepts of math through three-dimensional and two-dimensional objects, you can try to develop their skills by shifting their focus on visualizing objects and numbers in their mind. Although this trick is a bit difficult, it is a great mental exercise. Do not lose hope if your child is not able to grasp it quickly as it will require a lot of practice. However, you can encourage your children constantly by talking to them about what they are trying to conceptualize and how to change the value of each image that he is making to solve the problem.

  1. Try To Relate Blocks To Coins

Is your child unable to distinguish between coins? If yes, then you can take the assistance of counting blocks in the beginning. What you can do is assign a different shape counting block to a specific coin. You can take the assistance of these counting blocks to help them remember the value of the coins assigned to those counting blocks. If you want to make things more interesting, you can even stick the coin on the block with the tape. It will not only make things interesting for your child, but they will remember the value of the coins more easily than before.

  1. Enroll Them In Tuition Classes

If you do not have a lot of resources at home, you can even enroll your children in math tuition classes. The tuition classes will help the children learn different mathematical concepts more easily than before. If your child is not able to learn math due to some medical issue, the maths tutor can even tweak the mathematical concepts a little bit to make it easier for them. But make sure that you pick the tuition wisely for your child as their entire future will depend on it. Go for the one where your child will receive individual attention.

There is no denying the fact that math is extremely important in our lives as there are endless applications of the subject. This is why you must teach math to your children and build their math skills even if they are weak at it.

If you want your children to learn math quickly and efficiently, abstract thinking is a great way to teach them the subject as they will learn about the subject and its application in a more interesting manner than before.


Read also:
The Popularity of Singapore Maths in Global Education

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About Author

Tutor City's blog focuses on balancing informative and relevant content, never at the expense of providing an enriching read. 

We want our readers to expand their horizons by learning more and find meaning to what they learn.

Resident author - Mr Wee Ben Sen, has a wealth of experience in crafting articles to provide valuable insights in the field of private education.

Ben Sen has also been running Tutor City, a leading home tuition agency in Singapore since 2010.